John McAfee: ‘I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians’

Posted to zerohedge.com

December 30, 2016

In case some of you were duped into believing this was evidence that proved Russia hacked the US elections, John McAfee would like to remind you that you’re probably a high tier retard and would believe virtually anything your government told you.

Crazy, but brilliant, John said “if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians.”

The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly “used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services.” While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location.

McAfee argues that the report is a “fallacy,” explaining that hackers can fake their location, their language, and any markers that could lead back to them. Any hacker who had the skills to hack into the DNC would also be able to hide their tracks, he said

“If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization,” McAfee said, adding that, in the end, “there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack.”

However, McAfee does see a problem with the National Security Agency (NSA) being able to listen in on every conversation and read every text message and email of every American. Rather than focusing on disrupting the bad guys in foreign countries, McAfee thinks that “all of that effort has been placed on a country that is afraid of its own citizens.”

He claims that the only way he has been able to fully block the NSA from infecting his phone with spyware is by using a flip-phone too old to be hacked. He even goes as far as to call the iPhone the “ultimate spy device.”

John McAfee was a candidate to be the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 2016

47 thoughts on “John McAfee: ‘I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians’

  1. Luke

    YYY ZeroHedge.com YYY

    The circumstantial (who benefits, who had motive and opportunity, who has done this before, etc) evidence is strong. I don’t need to get into debates over technical details with experts on different sides such as McAfee and the various intelligence agencies which are not putting all their evidence on the table anyway. It’s above my head, besides the point, and not necessary to make the case. Hell, we have Russian regime officials publicly bragging they were in constant contact with multiple Trump campaign staff throughout the campaign. We have Trump on tape publicly asking the Russians to release emails if they have them. What more do we actually need?

  2. Luke

    YYY RT.com YYY

    Come on. Russian regime owned sources pushing out a story that casts doubt on whether the regime that owns them dunnit. No conflict of interest there, I’m sure. That’s even less of a fig leaf than Trump’s separation from his businesses.

  3. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I do NOT believe that Russia leaked Wikileaks, although I have no opinion on anything else Russia might have done to keep Hillary out of the Presidency. I have no opinion on what relationship Trump has with Putin, although I fail to see why better relations with another superpower is a bad thing. I believe Hillary lost the Presidency because of her history of lying and bad behavior. She’s also a proven warmonger and has a thin, if not totally non-existent, list of what she’s accomplished in her “advocacy of women and children” for the past 20 years. She’s clearly made quite a few enemies along the way.

    I believe every American needs to investigate many of the UNDISPUTED emails that were released by Wikileaks. I personally believe they were leaked by DNC insiders, very possibly Seth Rich, who was murdered this past summer. Also, please know that Deborah Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile lost their jobs because of the information released in Wikileaks. That indicates to me the corruption revealed had at least some truth to it.

  4. Luke

    “I do NOT believe that Russia leaked Wikileaks,”

    I’m guessing you mean leaked to them. I don’t know why you don’t believe it.

    “although I have no opinion on anything else Russia might have done to keep Hillary out of the Presidency”

    To hell with Hillary, but if they interfered with the US election for any purpose that should trouble every American (and everyone else, since the US has a lot of sway all over the world).

    ” I have no opinion on what relationship Trump has with Putin, although I fail to see why better relations with another superpower is a bad thing.”

    Well, having a US President who may be an agent of a potentially hostile foreign regime, possibly bribed or blackmailed by them, is potentially a very, very big problem. What happens for example if and when Russia invades the Baltics? The rest of Ukraine, the rest of the former Soviet Republics and the European nations that used to be behind the Iron Curtain? What if Russian-backed far right nationalist parties sweep to power all over Europe…should we be happy to see LePen in power in France, neo-nazis such as NPD in Germany and the “Freedom” Party in Austria, neo-fascists in Italy, etc? Or, suppose Putin manipulates Trump into joining him in a larger war against the Muslim world. How much blowback might the US experience? Suppose Putin confronts China and manipulates Trump into joining him. All kinds of nasty scenarios like that could play out.

    On the other hand what if Trump and Putin have a falling out? Due to Trump’s fondness for Israel, Putin and Trump may come to be on opposite sides of a conflict over Iran. Former allies with big egos going to bat on the world stage, neither backing down…it could happen.

    ” I believe Hillary lost the Presidency because of her history of lying and bad behavior. ”

    That would certainly be a plausible theory, as she has a long history of both, but wait… she ran against Donald Trump. Lying and bad behavior have his picture next to them in the dictionary.

    “She’s also a proven warmonger”

    That’s true. But if you think Trump really is a peacenik just because he is kissing up to Putin at least for now you have another thing coming. I mean, he has already made moves to destabilize the powderkegs in Israel/Palestine, Taiwan/China, and will with very little doubt scrap the Iran nuclear deal very soon after taking office. And from there, who knows?

    “has a thin, if not totally non-existent, list of what she’s accomplished in her “advocacy of women and children” for the past 20 years. ”

    Trump has an excellent list of accomplsihments on women and children.

    “She’s clearly made quite a few enemies along the way.”

    I’ll count myself among them. Trump has too, and I’m a minor leaguer on both of those teams. If either of them remember me for any reason at some point, it won’t be fondly.

    “I believe every American needs to investigate many of the UNDISPUTED emails that were released by Wikileaks.”

    I agree.

    ” I personally believe they were leaked by DNC insiders”

    It’s possible, but I don’t think it would be the full story even if true.

    ” Also, please know that Deborah Wasserman Schultz and Donna Brazile lost their jobs because of the information released in Wikileaks. ”

    As well they should have, but are any of us under any illusion that it will make a difference? Meet the new boss…

    “That indicates to me the corruption revealed had at least some truth to it.”

    Of course it does. That should be taken as a given. RNC indicates that they were also compromised, but their info did not get leaked. Why not? I will take it as a given that they are also corrupt and that there was plenty of dirt to leak had someone chosen to do so. My guess it that whoever is holding the RNC’s chestnuts is holding them back for leverage/blackmail, and may leak them when Trump crosses whoever that is, or will use them (perhaps among other things) to keep him in line. If that’s the Russians, see above for what some of the possible consequences may be. If it’s someone else one can probably envision similarly unpleasant possibilities. The Russians look good for it, but if it’s not them that doesn’t mean we are in any way out of danger.

  5. Luke

    One other possibility regarding the RNC non-leaks, they may have been done on behalf of Trump, ie in order to ensure his nomination and support by the party. By whom? Well, the only thing we can know for sure is that it couldn’t possibly be the Russians. Because they would never do that. Or something.

    But, even if that’s the case we still can’t discount the possibility that whatever they are holding could be used against Trump at some point should that suit whoever they may be.

  6. Bondurant

    The Democratic Party was caught rigging their primaries. Let’s just ignore that and blame the Russians. Democrats and their sycophants are beyond pathetic.

  7. Luke

    Who’s ignoring it? Yes, they rigged their primaries and deserve full blame for that. It may have even had something to do with them losing the general election. Maybe a lot to do with it. Maybe Bernie would be president elect if they hadn’t rigged it. Now let’s ignore the possibility that we may have an agent of a foreign nation coming into office as president, or that he may be bribed or blackmailed by them or be in their debt or even just that they interfered with the election. Because the primaries are the only thing that matters even when it was not what we were talking about. Why is anyone who criticizes Trump and/or Putin a Democratic Party sycophant now? For the record, I don’t like them either, just in case you were confused.

  8. George Phillies

    The mystery source released every bit of information showing that RNC Chair Priebus was rigging the primaries in favor of Trump. Of course, there was not a lot to release.

    It seems that the Clinton campaign had info going back to early Summer showing that they were in real trouble in the midwest and over to Pennsylvania, and they ignored all the evidence, as MSNBC apparently ignored the reports from their imbed in the Clinton campaign that things were doing poorly for Clinton.

  9. Luke

    Phillies,

    You suffer from a lack of imagination of what may have been in RNC emails. On the other hand your second paragraph is right on the money.

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Yes, George is correct. The true state of the Clinton campaign wasn’t really hard to see for those of us who don’t listen to the # Fake News.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I have a couple of fairly aware friends who think Bernie could have won over Trump. I kind of don’t think so. What do you all think?

  12. Luke

    “The true state of the Clinton campaign wasn’t really hard to see ”

    So far, at least, no one here has argued otherwise. Despite all those problems, she won the popular vote. By almost 3 million and 2%. The 80,000 vote margin in 3 states that won it for Trump could have been overcome in any number of ways. Comey’s weird on and off maneuvers may have made more than enough difference. So may have Russian interference. Any one of a number of other things. Certainly, Clinton’s campaign screwed itself in many ways, and no one here is denying the flaws of their candidate.

    It’s an interesting question you raise as to what may have happened in a Sanders/Trump election. Who knows, maybe a third party/independent run really may have taken off had that happened. Suppose Colin Powell had really jumped in at that point, instead of just getting a few stray faithless electors? What if Romney ran instead of McMullin? There are many interesting possibilities there. Had it been straightforward Trump vs Sanders, I also don’t know what may have happened. Maybe Sanders would have won. Although the polls were not very good this year they did show Sanders beating Trump more so than Clinton.

  13. Just Some Random Guy

    Yes, George is correct. The true state of the Clinton campaign wasn’t really hard to see for those of us who don’t listen to the # Fake News.

    It’s an overstatement to claim things were going poorly for Clinton; things were actually quite close. If just 1% of the people who voted had swapped from Trump to Clinton, then she would’ve won. Certainly, many overestimated her chances so you saw ridiculous things like predictions giving her a 99% chance of winning, but this election could have quite easily gone to her.

    @ Jill Pyeatt

    I have a couple of fairly aware friends who think Bernie could have won over Trump. I kind of don’t think so. What do you all think?

    Sanders has SIGNIFICANTLY less baggage than Clinton (for starters, he doesn’t have that whole DNC leak problem) and certainly comes across as more likable on a personal level. And this election, both in the primaries and main election, certainly showed a dislike of the “establishment” that applies significantly less to Sanders than to Hillary.

    On the other hand, his policies are more to the left and that could drive away some moderates. Granted, his policies being more to the left actually doesn’t matter that much when you stop to think about it; he wouldn’t be able to enact anything more extreme than Clinton would because it’d have to get by congress, but people don’t necessarily note that when deciding who to vote for.

    Of course, there’s elements we don’t know about that could be in play. Who would Sanders choose as his vice president? That could make a difference, good or bad. And there might be some dirt against him that we don’t know about because after he didn’t get the nomination, the people who find that sort of thing stopped caring about him.

    I don’t know if Sanders would have won, but I think he would’ve done better than Hillary, though of course as I noted above, you actually wouldn’t have to do that much better than Hillary (in certain states) to win the election. Then again, a year ago I figured Trump had no chance at winning the election, so maybe I’m not really the right person to be playing armchair analyst here.

  14. dL

    I’m guessing you mean leaked to them. I don’t know why you don’t believe it.

    (1) b/c Wikileaks says the source is not a state actor
    (2) The US govt has provided no evidence that Russia was the Wikileaks source for the DNC or CF leaks

    The better question is why would anyone believe it?

    but if they interfered with the US election for any purpose that should trouble every American (and everyone else, since the US has a lot of sway all over the world).

    If a foreign govt did happen to be a source for US govt corruption, I would welcome the source, not be troubled it. If a foreign govt rigged an election, and by rigged election I mean actually the rigged election by tampering with the votes cast or prevented votes from being cast, i would concede the point. However, rigging an election is not document-sourcing political candidate corruption. I.e, providing more information to the voter.

    Well, having a US President who may be an agent of a potentially hostile foreign regime, possibly bribed or blackmailed by them, is potentially a very, very big problem.

    Foreign influence happens all the time. The US congress basically acts like the out-sourced lobbying firm for the Israeli knesset. That’s documented and not debatable. Self-selective outrage on that matter. On the other hand, proffering the noton that Trump is a KGB agent or an agent of Putin doesn’t even being to pass the smell test. That’s John Birch Society level conspiracy theory, And as a bit of a fan of the original The Manchurian Candidate, I remind you the John Birch types were the ones who actually turned out to be the commies.

    Of course it does. That should be taken as a given. RNC indicates that they were also compromised, but their info did not get leaked. Why not?

    Because Donald Trump didn’t run a private email server from his house that mediated RNC correspondence? Because the Trump Foundation also didn’t mediate RNC/Trump political business? I.e, easy targets that could be penetrated by lone wolf hackers or circumvented by disgruntled insiders.

    Personally, I think it is very plausible that the RNC was penetrated by the usual state actors. That’s spycraft. However, state actors are not in the business of leaking their spycraft to journalists or Wikileaks. That’s not what spycraft is.

  15. Luke

    “If just 1% of the people who voted had swapped from Trump to Clinton, then she would’ve won. ”

    Actually a lot less than that. Trump got over 60 million votes, and less than 80,000 votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would have flipped it. So it’s more like 1/10 of 1%. Trump calls that a landslide. He lost the popular vote by 2% and he calls that a landslide. Even if you only look at the electoral vote it was 46th of 58 in terms of winning margins, but it will be used to justify sweeping changes.

    “Sanders has SIGNIFICANTLY less baggage than Clinton (for starters, he doesn’t have that whole DNC leak problem) and certainly comes across as more likable on a personal level. And this election, both in the primaries and main election, certainly showed a dislike of the “establishment” that applies significantly less to Sanders than to Hillary.”

    Good points.

    “On the other hand, his policies are more to the left and that could drive away some moderates.”

    Also true. And he may have more problems getting black turnout, as he was notoriously bad at getting black votes in the primaries. On the other hand, he probably would have done a lot better with blue collar white voters than Clinton did.

    “Granted, his policies being more to the left actually doesn’t matter that much when you stop to think about it; he wouldn’t be able to enact anything more extreme than Clinton would because it’d have to get by congress, but people don’t necessarily note that when deciding who to vote for.”

    There’s executive orders, court appointments, and the many actions of the federal bureaucracy that take place outside of anything congress does. There are also the powers of the commander in chief…among other things.

    “Of course, there’s elements we don’t know about that could be in play. Who would Sanders choose as his vice president? That could make a difference, good or bad. And there might be some dirt against him that we don’t know about because after he didn’t get the nomination, the people who find that sort of thing stopped caring about him.”

    Sure. Debate performance, ads, media coverage, gaffes…who knows how things would have played out.

  16. George Phillies

    Luke, You slightly miss my point. There may perhaps have been RNC emails trying to rig the primaries *against* Trump, though some of these dudes someplace must have heard that face to face conversations are harder to trace. However, leaking those emails would not have hurt Trump; it would have enraged his followers and helped him. I am personally inclined to thing that Priebus realized that NC nonneutrality was a disaster on a schedule and therefore did not do it.

    Also, I found the courier statement — ‘I got the leaks from a DNC person and hand carried them to wikileaks’ — in the Daily Mail were credible.

  17. Luke

    “(1) b/c Wikileaks says the source is not a state actor”

    I will take them at their word. That’s simple enough; it could have been a subcontractor hired by the Russian regime or it could have been or an intermediary that filtered but did originate the information.

    “(2) The US govt has provided no evidence that Russia was the Wikileaks source for the DNC or CF leaks”

    Also irrelevant. If they have evidence, there are legitimate reasons why they would not want to release it; for example it may compromise their spies, let the Russians know where they might have bugs, expose what they know about the Russians’ methods, etc. Or it may be that they will release their evidence and just haven’t done that yet. Perhaps they are combing through it to see what they want to make public and what they don’t.

    “The better question is why would anyone believe it?”

    We went over that earlier. Again:

    The circumstantial (who benefits, who had motive and opportunity, who has done this before, etc) evidence is strong. I don’t need to get into debates over technical details with experts on different sides such as McAfee and the various intelligence agencies which are not putting all their evidence on the table anyway. It’s above my head, besides the point, and not necessary to make the case. Hell, we have Russian regime officials publicly bragging they were in constant contact with multiple Trump campaign staff throughout the campaign. We have Trump on tape publicly asking the Russians to release emails if they have them. What more do we actually need?

  18. Luke

    “If a foreign govt did happen to be a source for US govt corruption, I would welcome the source, not be troubled it. If a foreign govt rigged an election, and by rigged election I mean actually the rigged election by tampering with the votes cast or prevented votes from being cast, i would concede the point. However, rigging an election is not document-sourcing political candidate corruption. I.e, providing more information to the voter.”

    There are lots of ways they could have rigged the election, ranging from actual black box vote rigging to psyops to selective information leaks. I would be troubled if they interfered in the US election, period, and you should be too.

  19. Luke

    ” On the other hand, proffering the notion that Trump is a KGB agent or an agent of Putin doesn’t even being to pass the smell test. ”

    I don’t see why you find it so hard to believe that Trump could have been bribed or blackmailed. Seems entirely plausible to me. It has happened to a lot of people and Trump is certainly both greedy and accused of engaging in a lot of behavior that would leave him vulnerable to blackmail. He could also have been manipulated with praise, as he is an insecure narcissist and Putin is an experienced manipulator. By the way the FSB has not been the KGB in decades.

    Again.. we have Russian regime officials publicly bragging they were in constant contact with multiple Trump campaign staff throughout the campaign. Trump’s pick for Secretary of State just so happens to be Putin’s single best American friend, and other Trump appointees/nominees have known business ties to the Putin regime. Trump may have himself, as well. Maybe still does. His campaign guru and now transition and white house counsel is tied to a movement that has proclaimed Putin to be the savior of civilization for years, and now is giving Trump and various European fascists similar praise. Trump himself has had a lot of nice things to say about Putin.

    So again…what’s so far fetched here?

  20. Luke

    “Because Donald Trump didn’t run a private email server from his house that mediated RNC correspondence?”

    I don’t know what Trump used for email. I would not be surprised if it was unsecure.

    “Because the Trump Foundation also didn’t mediate RNC/Trump political business? I.e, easy targets that could be penetrated by lone wolf hackers or circumvented by disgruntled insiders.”

    The Trump Foundation is a whole other story. No need to get into that here but I suspect we will hear more about it in days, weeks, months and maybe years to come.

    “Personally, I think it is very plausible that the RNC was penetrated by the usual state actors.”

    I agree.

    “However, state actors are not in the business of leaking their spycraft to journalists or Wikileaks. That’s not what spycraft is.”

    It can be if it’s what suits them.

  21. Luke

    “Luke, You slightly miss my point. There may perhaps have been RNC emails trying to rig the primaries *against* Trump, though some of these dudes someplace must have heard that face to face conversations are harder to trace. However, leaking those emails would not have hurt Trump; it would have enraged his followers and helped him. I am personally inclined to thing that Priebus realized that NC nonneutrality was a disaster on a schedule and therefore did not do it.”

    I did not miss your point. My previous response to your point stands and I don’t feel a need to elaborate on it further. All sorts of things you did not mention could have been in RNC emails.

  22. Luke

    ” will take them at their word. That’s simple enough; it could have been a subcontractor hired by the Russian regime or it could have been or an intermediary that filtered but did originate the information.”

    Oops…I mangled that. Let me try again. It could have been a subcontract that was hired by the Russian regime to do the actual hacking, or it could have been one that did not do the actual hacking but that was hired to pass information to wikileaks. Wikileaks would not have known the original source or who hired their source necessarily.

  23. dL

    I don’t need to get into debates over technical details with experts on different sides such as McAfee and the various intelligence agencies which are not putting all their evidence on the table anyway. It’s above my head, besides the point, and not necessary to make the case. Hell, we have Russian regime officials publicly bragging they were in constant contact with multiple Trump campaign staff throughout the campaign. We have Trump on tape publicly asking the Russians to release emails if they have them. What more do we actually need?

    Well, it’s not above my head. I’m programmer, do systems admin, followed the hacking/cracking subculture way back in the day. I mean I knew who JA was back in the 90s. I’ve used rootkits, I have had to uninstall them from client sites. I’ve written code to exploit buffer overflows for in c, I’ve had my own production code exploited(SQL injection attacks…back in the day when you would write raw sql queries). I wouldn’t call myself a computer security professional, but I’m competent enough at least understand the literature and evaluate claims of others.

    DHS released evidence of a php malware kit w/ eastern european origins. Big fuckin deal. That’s like releasing evidence that bikinis are being worn in South Beach. As in: No shit. Kind of known for that. If you see a picture of someone wearing a bikini, its doesn’t mean they are from south beach. Nor if an intel op puts on a bikini, it doesn’t mean anyone who wears a bikini is an intel op. In other words: quite a bit of malware originates from eastern europe.(indeed, Eastern European countries are the best outsources of highly skilled programming talent, period). And it is usually in wide circulation all over the world. Ie., lots of people use it. As was the case for this particular brand of malware.

    The DHS release showed NO Russian linkage to the malware. Showed NO Russian linkage to Wikileaks. Indeed, it didn’t have damn at all to do with the DNC or CF leaks. It was a like general alert for old malware used to exploit PHP websites.

    Now I have no doubt that those in the Russian diplomatic corp recently expelled from the US are Russian spooks. Every diplomatic corp is replete with spooks. The world’s government could expel each other’s spooks from the ranks of the diplomatic corps if they so chose. But it would be kind of a mass insanity. Russia could certainly expel US spooks under cover of the diplomatic corps in Russia if they so chose. But any government is always going hard pressed to keep up w/ the aggressive belligerence continually exhibited the US govt.

    People who can think for themselves are not hostage to whatever narrative suddenly pops up into mass media. Then run around like a chicken with its head cut off looking for connections. Most anything is possible, including Trump being an agent of alien extraterrestrial intelligence from Mars. Lots of things are plausible , including Trump being an agent of the Russian government. However, likely and probable are different matters.

    If rash of meningitis breaks out in some corner of the world and makes the news, a hypochondriac that wakes up with a stiff neck is going to think they have meningitis. Possible, yes, plausible, perhaps. Likely, no. The likely explanation is that they slept with their head on the pillow in a weird position.
    To think it was it was something like meningitis, a rational person would need more than a news sensationalism about a meningitis outbreak. Nor is visiting websites where other hypochondriacs obsess over the diseases they think they have sufficient evidence.

    (1) The clear evidence is this: Clinton, a technical neophyte, operated a private server email server to mediate DNC campaign business. The Clinton tram also used the CF to mediate campaign business. Finally, Clinton’s most trusted right-hand aide, Huma Abedin, apparently practiced an open relationship with her husband re: the sharing of CF emails. Emails that ended on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, a device I’m sure he used for his porn habits. Porn sites being a notorious vectors for malware.

    Easy opportunity for almost anyone to penetrate the those systems to gain access to the documents. Easy opportunity for lone wolf hackers. Easy opportunity for insiders.

    Opportunity: Check

    (2) The Clinton team and the DNC was involved in a conspiracy to thwart Sanders of the nomination. Hence, a motive for disgruntled insiders. Easy opportunity always provides a motive for easy fame. Fame is a time honored motive for hackers.

    Motive: Check

    (3) Julian Assange has been holed up in a Ecuadorian embassy for a number of years now. It’s pretty likely he bears a bit of a grudge against the Obama Admin. Hence, he would have certain disposition to use the Wikileaks publishing organ for maximal media impact against the Clinton campaign if given the sources.

    Means: Check

    Opportunity, motive,means…check,check, check. No need to resort to fantastical Russian intel conspiracies.
    If you resort to such conspiracies, you have to rise above the simple threshold of possible or plausible or speculation. You need hard,hard evidence. Tack another hard because the motive is going to be hard to to add up given this operation would have had to been lunched far in the advance of knowledge of long-shot Trump becoming the GOP nominee. Tack on another hard because of the likelihood of disparate sources for the DNC leaks and CF leaks. Guccifer2.0 was a likely and convincing source for the DNC leaks. But not necessarily for the CF leaks.

  24. Starchild

    Luke makes some good observations here (e.g. in the post at December 30, 2016 at 21:31).

    And the Putin regime response hypothesized by dL, Russia could certainly expel US spooks under cover of the diplomatic corps in Russia if they so chose” just occurred today.

  25. Luke

    “Well, it’s not above my head. I’m …”

    Thanks, but I don’t need your resume. I readily concede there are people who know more about this than I do, and as I explained earlier, it’s besides the point given the circumstantial evidence.

    “DHS released evidence ..”

    Just because they released a smidgeon of evidence does not mean they don’t have any other evidence that they haven’t released, or just haven’t released yet. There are obvious reasons why they may not have released additional evidence if they have it, and just in case it wasn’t obvious I spelled out what some of those reasons may be above. Again: If they have evidence, there are legitimate reasons why they would not want to release it; for example it may compromise their spies, let the Russians know where they might have bugs, expose what they know about the Russians’ methods, etc. Or it may be that they will release their evidence and just haven’t done that yet. Perhaps they are combing through it to see what they want to make public and what they don’t.

    You seem to make the assumption that they have released all their evidence. Why?

    “Showed NO Russian linkage to Wikileaks.”

    We’ve already stipulated that the Russians could have used an intermediary either to do the actual hacking or to leak what they wanted to to wikileaks, so there is absolutely no need to show any direct connection between the Russians and Wikileaks per se. I see no reason not to believe Wikileaks that their source was a non-government entity, which doesn’t change anything. Perhaps CIA or other US spy agencies have information about payments from Russian intel to subcontractor hackers, or about Russian intel hiring an intermediary to send info to wikileaks, etc, etc. It’s beyond silly to expect them to release everything they allegedly know or have evidence for, especially on your timetable as opposed to theirs, or even at all.

    “Opportunity, motive,means…check,check, check. No need to resort to fantastical Russian intel conspiracies.”

    What’s fantastical about it? Putin is not happy with US regime manipulations of elections in Russia and especially in nations near Russia that are former Soviet Republics, which he considers to be part of his sphere of influence. His regime has also successfully carried out psyops campaigns in Russia and ex-Soviet Republics to manipulate elections, as have the Americans. It makes total sense that he would want to take revenge on the US and manipulate the US election in retaliation. Furthermore, it was absolutely obvious from his regime’s propaganda that they favored Trump over Clinton.

    Again…Trump is certainly both greedy and accused of engaging in a lot of behavior that would leave him vulnerable to blackmail. He could also have been manipulated with praise, as he is an insecure narcissist and Putin is an experienced manipulator.

    Again.. we have Russian regime officials publicly bragging they were in constant contact with multiple Trump campaign staff throughout the campaign. Trump’s pick for Secretary of State just so happens to be Putin’s single best American friend, and other Trump appointees/nominees have known business ties to the Putin regime. Trump may have himself, as well. Maybe still does. His campaign guru and now transition and white house counsel is tied to a movement that has proclaimed Putin to be the savior of civilization for years, and now is giving Trump and various European fascists similar praise. Trump himself has had a lot of nice things to say about Putin.

    Russia has geopolitical ambitions: control over the former Soviet Republics and then probably the old Soviet bloc, defanging NATO and the European Union (note: I am not a fan of either NATO or the EU but that’s besides the point), perhaps a “war of civilizations” against the Muslim world (or large parts of it), against China, or both. They clearly want neo-fascist parties to come to power in Europe, which they have made no secret of much as they made no secret of their preference for Trump. It’s obvious that they have many reasons they wanted Trump elected, which may or may not include Trump actually working for them because he is being blackmailed, bribed, or bamboozled with praise, or some combination thereof.

    Again, the case for possible Russian manipulation of the US election doesn’t even rest on the hacks. Even if the hacks and leaks were 100% freelance – and I’m not stipulating that they were, since the Russian regime had plenty of motive and opportunity – there’s still a variety of other psyops, possible black box hacking, and possible capture of the president-elect and/or those close to him through bribery, blackmail and flattery. The US regime has done the same sorts of things in countries around Russia that Putin still considers to be part of the Eurasian Union he wants to establish with the “color revolutions” and tried to do it in Russia as well, so revenge is among the possible motives although it’s not the only one.

    ” this operation would have had to been lunched far in the advance of knowledge of long-shot Trump becoming the GOP nominee.”

    Him becoming the nominee was seen by many as a real possibility at least a year ago. By some even well before that. And no, I don’t need hard evidence. Even a possibility that a hostile foreign regime manipulated the US election and may have elected a possible agent of theirs as US president is very, very troubling and should not just be dismissed out of hand because you don’t already have hard evidence of just one of the ways the manipulation may have occurred, especially if, even if such evidence is already in the possession of US intel agencies, there are very valid reasons they may not want to make all of it public, especially immediately.

    But again, even if you are correct… that is, if they have no other evidence on the hacks, and even if there was no Russian connection to the hacks whatsoever….there are still several other ways the Russians may have manipulated, and given the narrow margin of victory swung the outcome of, the US presidential election; and the non-trivial possibility that they control the president-elect and/or his close advisers. I don’t have to have hard evidence to see a circumstantial case for it and reasons for very serious concern that it may be true and what the consequences may end up being if it is.

    To take just one example of many, if Putin manipulates Trump into deeper involvement and/or a wider war in the Middle East, there are very likely to be more and bigger terrorist attacks on the US; that may happen anyway due to Trump’s domestic policies against Muslims, or his likely plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, scrap the Iran deal, etc. Once those attacks take place how hard will Trump be able to crack down on civil liberties in the US, and how wide of a war will he jump into overseas?

    But by all means, let’s not worry about any of it it because US intel agencies have not already released hard evidence of just one of the possible election manipulation vectors even if releasing such hard evidence would compromise their own agents and other intelligence gathering methods.

  26. Thane Eichenauer (@ilovegrover)

    JP> I have a couple of fairly aware friends who think Bernie could have won over Trump.

    I think Bernie could have won against Trump. He sold a message many people want to buy. He was on message. He drew large audiences. He wasn’t known as a warmonger.

  27. George Phillies

    Evidence? These are the liars who gave us all the evidence that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction, in support of the Bush war crimes regime’s need for a new war of aggression against Iraq. From the available information, they have no evidence.

    The latest fake evidence is the claim that the Russians had infiltrated the power grid, based on a piece of commercially available — it seems — malware found in a computer not connected to the power grid.

  28. dL

    Thanks, but I don’t need your resume. I readily concede there are people who know more about this than I do, and as I explained earlier, it’s besides the point given the circumstantial evidence.

    There is no circumstantial evidence. You are just repeating what mass media is telling you. Having a familiarity with the subject matter is only a red herring if you have no desire or propensity for arriving at your own conclusions.

    We’ve already stipulated that the Russians could have used an intermediary

    You stipulated…I wrote a comment above why stipulations and speculations don’t hold much water in the face of likely explanations.

    And no, I don’t need hard evidence. Even a possibility that a hostile foreign regime manipulated the US election and may have elected a possible agent of theirs as US president is very, very troubling and should not just be dismissed out of hand because you don’t already have hard evidence…

    I suppose you don’t if you are fine with always believing what what the government tells you. However, I find those who parrot that position to be self-selective in the application. For example, if Trump as president claimed the Dem Party was an agent of ISIS and proceeded to begin arresting party leaders, I doubt you would say:

    “I don’t need hard evidence. Even a possibility that a hostile terrorist group controls a US political party is very, very troubling and should not just be dismissed out of hand because you don’t already have hard evidence…”

  29. Luke

    “Evidence? These are the liars who gave us all the evidence that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction, in support of the Bush war crimes regime’s need for a new war of aggression against Iraq. From the available information, they have no evidence.”

    Actually, no, they aren’t. The Bush pro-war faction actually created a special “Team B” to misinterpret, lie about and if need be try to manufacture evidence in their already-drawn conclusion to go to war. That was precisely because career intelligence operatives were not coming up with the pretexts to fit their narratives. You may recall Valerie Plame for example. But even if it was true that the intelligence services as a whole, rather than special teams handpicked for that exact purpose, got it wrong on Iraq, would we then draw the conclusion that nothing that our numerous, very expensive intelligence operations tell us about anything at all ever again has any validity whatsoever? That is the implication you clearly seem to imply, and it’s a very foolish one.

    “The latest fake evidence is the claim that the Russians had infiltrated the power grid, based on a piece of commercially available — it seems — malware found in a computer not connected to the power grid.”

    You are repeating a false narrative that was already extensively addressed in this thread.

  30. Luke

    “There is no circumstantial evidence. You are just repeating what mass media is telling you. Having a familiarity with the subject matter is only a red herring if you have no desire or propensity for arriving at your own conclusions.”

    Bullshit. I draw on multiple media sources, including the Russian propaganda echo sites as well as the American ones and many others. I make my own conclusions and I explained already why your technical expertise on a narrow slice of the larger issue is besides the point. You sticking fingers in your ears and pretending not too notice the massive amounts of circumstantial evidence that are right in your face is a non-starter and should not fool anyone.

    “You stipulated…I wrote a comment above why stipulations and speculations don’t hold much water in the face of likely explanations.”

    So your technical expertise tells you that it’s technically impossible for non state actors to do hacking that they are paid to do by state actors? This I have to hear. I am not a technical expert but I have a decent layman’s understanding and that one doesn’t seem plausible. Of course it’s possible for some freelance hackers to be hired by a regime, such as the Russian one. And again, if that happened, or if the Russian regime did it themselves and hired someone to filter it over to wikileaks, how would wikileaks know whether the Russians were behind it? Please by all means, share your technical expertise on why this couldn’t have possibly happened.

    “I suppose you don’t if you are fine with always believing what what the government tells you. ”

    I never automatically believe what any government tells me, including the Russian government and sites that routinely parrot, link to and cite its known propaganda.

    “For example, if Trump as president claimed the Dem Party was an agent of ISIS and proceeded to begin arresting party leaders…”

    False equivalence. I haven’t called for anyone to be arrested. I haven’t asserted that it was unquestionably the Russians. I said there’s a good circumstantial case and that I’m very troubled by the likelihood and its implications, not that it’s an absolute fact much less that I want to arrest anyone based on it. As for Trump making such a claim and proceeding with arrests, yes, I see that as quite likely in the next 4-8 years and perhaps much sooner.

  31. Pingback: Haystack Surveillance – Drone Assassinations – New Blood | Talking About Peace

  32. dL

    Bullshit.

    Cite the evidence, then. Evidence is not speculation re: motive or means. You have done plenty of that, but you haven’t actually cited any evidence. And evidence that girls at south beach wear bikinis is only evidence that girls at south beach wear bikinis(i.e, DHS publicly released docs). Note: resorting to an appeal of secrecy(the evidence is there, but it is classified) is a logical fallacy.

    So your technical expertise tells you that it’s technically impossible for non state actors to do hacking that they are paid to do by state actors?

    No idea what you are babbling about here. I said that anyone with common sense would know that the likeliest source for Wikileaks would be non state actors. Likely versus “possible” or “plausible”. The technical competency(only said i was competent, not an expert) comes into play when evaluating extraordinary claims of state actors being the wikileaks source.

    I never automatically believe what any government tells me, including the Russian government and sites that routinely parrot, link to and cite its known propaganda.

    I’m not relying on the word of the Russian government nor on any site that is an agent of the Russian government. Nice try, though.

    False equivalence. I haven’t called for anyone to be arrested.

    Well, I made an analogy, not an equivalence comparison. And the analogy was used to illustrate the self-selective criteria standard when it comes to rejecting the need for hard evidence in light of the enormity of a claim. In other words, if the implications of X are really,really,really bad, we don’t need hard evidence. That’s nonsense. But that’s you argument in the case. Obviously you would reject that same argument in the Trump analogy. Hence, demonstrating my point.

  33. Luke

    “Cite the evidence, then. Evidence is not speculation re: motive or means.”

    Scroll up. Circumstantial evidence is evidence, and I’ve already explained why my argument does not rely on a smoking gun.

    “Note: resorting to an appeal of secrecy(the evidence is there, but it is classified) is a logical fallacy.”

    I don’t know if there is or isn’t. Some people who would know have hinted that there is, it’s logical that there would be, and it makes sense why it would be kept secret (at least for now, and perhaps permanently or for a long time) if there is. But no, I haven’t seen anything that has not been made public.

    “I said that anyone with common sense would know that the likeliest source for Wikileaks would be non state actors. Likely versus “possible” or “plausible”. The technical competency(only said i was competent, not an expert) comes into play when evaluating extraordinary claims of state actors being the wikileaks source.”

    There’s nothing extraordinary about it. State actors have obvious motivations and resources for hacking. It happens all the time. Your rejoined was that wikileaks says their info did not come from a state actor. I stipulated that is true, but it could easily have come to them from 1) someone hired by a state actor to do the hacking or 2) someone hired by a state actor that did the hacking themselves specifically to give it to wikileaks. I don’t see any reasons why either of those would be unlikely. Nor have you given any. It doesn’t matter what your exact level of competency or expertise is for reasons I explained several times; if you didn’t understand those simple explanations after several iterations, an additional one won’t help you.

    “I’m not relying on the word of the Russian government nor on any site that is an agent of the Russian government. Nice try, though.”

    You get your news somewhere. You may not be aware of how many of those sources are consciously or unconsciously giving you the Russian regime line. Of course the same goes for US establishment media, which is why I peruse a wide selection of both, among many other things, and draw my own conclusions.

    “if the implications of X are really,really,really bad, we don’t need hard evidence.”

    No. If the implications of X are really, really bad and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence for X there are reasons to be seriously concerned even in the absence of hard evidence. That should actually just be common sense. If you hear what sounds like a burglar breaking into your house in the middle of the night you *should* be concerned, even before you have 100% conclusively determined that it’s an absolute fact that that is in fact what is happening. Imagine living your life with no concern for anything that has not yet been proven conclusively beyond the shadow of a doubt. How long would you even survive?

    “Obviously you would reject that same argument in the Trump analogy. ”

    No, if I thought there was good circumstantial evidence I would be equally concerned. It seems highly implausible that there would be, but that’s a separate matter. Your analogy also fails because it attempts to sneak in arresting people, whereas I have not suggested anything even remotely in that ballpark.

  34. George Phillies

    Is it just me or did “Luke” just show up?

    “The Bush pro-war faction actually created a special “Team B” to misinterpret, lie about and if need be try to manufacture evidence in their already-drawn conclusion to go to war.” That’s an interesting claim. Do you have any evidence for it? The stovepiping claim was made, but there was no material evidence for it.

    And where was the alleged team A during this time, with one prominent Libertarian exception?

  35. Andy

    “George Phillies
    January 2, 2017 at 14:56
    Is it just me or did ‘Luke’ just show up?”

    Yeah, “Luke” seems to have a lot of knowledge and opinions for a newbie to IPR. The same goes with some guy who popped up here going by the name “Matt”.

    IPR has long had problems with trolls and/or with people posting under fake names, so I have to wonder if this is just another in that category.

  36. Luke

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that it requires length of residency here to have knowledge and opinions about world events.

    “That’s an interesting claim. Do you have any evidence for it? ”

    Well, you could do your own web searches. I am a bit surprised you don’t remember any of this. Try this: http://www.pitt.edu/~gordonm/JPubs/TeamBqjs.pdf Or look up Team B Iraq, Valerie Plame, yellowcake, and other such searches.

  37. dL

    Scroll up. Circumstantial evidence is evidence, and I’ve already explained why my argument does not rely on a smoking gun.

    Speculating on motives and means is not evidence. The third time I’ve had to point this out. Evidence==physical or digital evidence. To use an analogy of a criminal murder trial, the evidence would the freakin murder weapon. Mere motive or means is not enough to convict(assuming a decent defense lawyer).

    Circumstantial evidence would be physical/evidence of the hacking the DNC. But since that would be part of expected statecraft(I assume multiple state actors hacked the DNC), that’s simply not enough. Evidence would be linking Russian intel to wikileaks as the source.

    In this instance, there is no evidence provided, circumstantial or otherwise. None.

    You get your news somewhere. You may not be aware of how many of those sources are consciously or unconsciously giving you the Russian regime line.

    Oh, I’m aware. I’m just not a John Bircher, lol. Wikileaks, Guccifer2.0, The Intercept, Reddit, hacker forums, my own experience as a hacker…All suddenly a Russian conspiracy? Don’t think so.

    No. If the implications of X are really, really bad and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence for X there are reasons to be seriously concerned even in the absence of hard evidence.

    Depends on the circumstance. Fingerprints at the New york metropolitan opera(where say the victim earlier attended a performance) are a bit different than a fingerprint found in the basement of the victim where the victim’s body was found. If the victim was storing valuable goods in the basement and there are fingerprints of 10 other criminal orgs in the that basement, then evidence of any one fingerprint is much less conclusive.

    Of course, you first must produce a fingerprint to even qualify a discussion about circumstantial evidence. No evidence has been produced yet. Not even circumstantial. Nancy Grace shouting on TV is not circumstantial evidence.

  38. Luke

    I’ve told you already what some of the circumstantial evidence is. None of it involved Nancy Grace. At this point, repetition would be pointless (if you didn’t understand me before, you won’t understand me now) but the points I made above still stand.

  39. dL

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that it requires length of residency here to have knowledge and opinions about world events.

    I don’t care about tenure, but if you persist in acting like a John Bircher, I will ignore you. And it helps if one links one’s screen name to a blog or something in order to get an idea of the intellectual background/consistency of an unknown interlocutor.

  40. Luke

    That statement was directed at George and Andy and some of their exchange immediately preceding it. My views are nothing like a Bircher, I don’t have any blog or anything else I would link my name to, and I don’t particularly care whether you ignore me. or not; I’m fine with it either way.

  41. dL

    I’ve told you already what some of the circumstantial evidence is. None of it involved Nancy Grace. At this point, repetition would be pointless (if you didn’t understand me before, you won’t understand me now) but the points I made above still stand.

    For the fourth time, circumstantial evidence is not speculation on motives and means. Nor is it red-baiting a russian conspiracy behind everything. You are quite correct that repeating nonsense is a futile exercise for convincing anyone w/ an IQ above freezing.

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